Congratulations! You turned 40. You didn’t die.
Here are some things to know about what's next:
1. You are going to die.
2. All those bucket lists that told you must climb Kilimanjaro or finish your novel or visit/eat on/sleep with a native in 100 countries? So people can say good job, you, and then revise their own bucket lists? People will now congratulate you on just being alive. Yay YOU for having made it this far intact. This is now a thing in the second half of your life.
3. Oh, you are in the second half of your life now. This is a thing now, too
4. You did not finish your novel. Let’s just get that out of the way.
5. But it’s cool you didn’t because now you realize you didn’t really want to finish it. You make priorities now. 40 year olds prioritize the fuck of out things. Like writing a different novel.
6. Nobody wants to see you on a jetski.
7. But you might take up jetskiing. Because you didn’t die when you turned 40. Not dying = a curious urge to try things that could kill you.
8. People will tell you that 40 is just a number, like the amount of times you want to punch them in the face.
9. Your body is starting to fall apart. You might want to watch it on that jetski, because all of a sudden you can’t see for shit.
10. You will want to have sex all the time. There’s a firesale on those last, precious remaining eggs, ladies, so your hormones are like a teenager’s in heat. That bullshit about women sexually peaking at 30? See: bullshit.
11. You will lament that the wanting to have sex all the time kinda confirms the cliché of The Cougar, but you will be having too much sex to really care.
12. Those stripey age marks on your chest, tho. You are now in one of two camps: the ones who can afford fillers or the ones forced to be the perpetual Before Ad.
13. Your vision may be going, but you’ve got clarity for days. You know your people. You know your causes and your beliefs. You finally know yourself – the one you’ve been trying to outrun and shame and drink to death because those glimmers of the real you that occasionally bubbled to the surface in your 20s and 30s was still too scary. You’re cool with you now.
14. Unless you’re not and hit 40 and unraveled. That happens, too.
15. Some of us unspool long before 40 and then you or a friend helps you find that connective thread that leads you back to now.
16. And sometimes you take stock of you at 40 and that shit has got. to. go. That spouse. That job. That path. That you. It’s some scary shit. But that’s when the magic happens.
17. You start to sound like a Pinterest board full of banal quotes. But a well timed F bomb helps take the piss out of that.
18. You start to pay attention to the ones who went before, because life doesn’t get any less scary after 40, but they’ve got excellent advice on ways to tackle it when it does.
19. You send word back that 40 really is just a number.
20. But mainly you just shut up and wait for those folks to get there on their own good time. Don’t want anyone running you over with a jetski for being the asshole who says that kind of shit.